Seed yield and subsequent emergence pattern of subterranean clover cultivars in response to summer rain
At Lincoln University, Canterbury, seven subterranean cultivars rated in Australia as having different levels of ‘hardseedeness’ were established. Monocultures were sown in autumn and allowed to grow and set seed. Seed yields ranged from 340 to 1050 kg/ha. Heavy rain in early January 2016 resulted in a “false strike” of ≤ 4.0% of seeds during the subsequent dry February. A second emergence event in March also resulted in a “false strike” with a further 7 to 15% of total seeds lost. However, cultivars established >1000 seedlings/m2 after early winter rain, which is considered adequate for future persistence. Emergence was consistent with Australian hardseededness rankings. Cultivars with hardseed ranks <4 may be more suitable for dryland systems in New Zealand due to their early emergence and the ability to exploit the late summer and autumn rains.
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